Penn State Hockey: Overtime Heartbreaker Dooms Upset Bid, No. 5 Badgers Win 3-2
The Nittany Lions played tough against the No. 5 ranked team for the second straight night but the Badgers yet again pulled out the victory, winning 3-2 in overtime.
How It Happened:
Penn State responded well after Friday night's loss. The Nittany Lions rushed out of the gate in the opening 20 minutes dominating the shot total 16-7. Wisconsin scored the opening goal of the night 9:01 into the game. Penn State would respond just over a minute later when a shot by Casey Bailey slotted into a wide open net following an outstanding pass by David Glen.
Nic Kerdiles scored a between the legs shorthanded goal to break to 1-1 tie 17:21 into the second period as the teams traded back and forth action. Penn State again got off 16 shots in the frame and came close to breaking the tie on multiple occasions. Nittany Lion goaltender Matthew Skoff was solid all night stopping 26 shots including 11 Wisconsin scoring chances in the second period.
Kenny Brooks tied the game as he threw the puck to the front of the net and it bounced off of a Wisconsin defender. The goal came with just over 3 minutes remaining in regulation, sending the packed Pegula Ice Arena into a frenzy. Mark Zengerle slotted home Kerdiles' pass with 20 seconds remaining in the overtime period to steal the victory from a surging Penn State squad.
Kerdiles' between the legs goal put Penn State behind in the late stages of the second period. Having generated only a handful of scoring chance through 40 minutes, Wisconsin's one-goal lead looked to be at least enough to tie the game. While Penn State has gotten better in the offensive zone, having to score two straight goals in order to take the lead over the No. 5 ranked Badgers looked to be too tall of a task and proved to be just that.
Player of the Game:
For the second straight night Kerdiles was the game changing player registering a goal and an assist. Badger netminder Joel Rumpel was solid in goal making 41 saves and several quality stops on great scoring chances by Penn State.
Stat of the Game:
Penn State forward Casey Bailey registered seven shots on goal, looking more like his old self after a somewhat quiet 2013-14 season.
Who Is Next:
Penn State only has one final home series of the season to pick up a victory in conference play and it will come against a beatable Ohio State squad. The Nittany Lions fell in both contests in Columbus earlier this season but have greatly improved their play since that meeting.
Ohio State will come to town for a weekend series to close out Penn State's regular season.